High School

Académie Lafayette wants to provide more quality education options for Kansas City by adding an International Baccalaureate high school.

Académie Lafayette is pleased to announce the opening of an International Baccalaureate high school beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. The high school will begin with the 9th grade in August 2020 and add a grade level each subsequent year. The high school will primarily serve current Académie Lafayette students. Because the high school will not be a full immersion program, it will be open to other Kansas City families. 

This decision fulfills the long-awaited second phase of our K-12 growth plan that included acquiring a building for a high school and increasing kindergarten enrollment while also improving the quality of our program. Our high school would not have been possible without the support from our engaged parents, committed staff, and generous community who have put their trust in our school over the past 20 years. For this, we thank you, and we look forward to serving more Kansas City families through this exciting expansion.

Academics

Académie Lafayette began its Middle School International Baccalaureate (IBMYP) program in the Fall of 2013. The Académie Lafayette International High School will build out the full IB program to include an IB certificate or diploma. IB is an internationally recognized, advanced diploma program that promotes students to “develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world” (www.ibo.org). 

The culmination of the IB curriculum are the exams taken at the conclusion of each IB class, typically at the end of a student’s senior year. Many colleges recognize certain score thresholds as college credit or equivalency. Why is the IB program a good fit for Académie Lafayette? 

Development of Global, Analytical, and Critical Thinkers

Both AL and IB focus on developing internationally minded, dedicated young people who will graduate from high school prepared to enter and complete a college degree or begin a career in a professional field. 

Continuity of the MYP Curriculum 

Implementation of the Middle Years Program (MYP) in grades 6th -8th at the AL Armour Campus will prepare all students for their high school coursework. The MYP at the AL high school in grades 9-10 will provide students with the skills necessary to be successful in their college preparatory coursework in grades 11 and 12. 

College Acceptance and Readiness 

Students who complete IB coursework as part of their high school program have higher acceptance rates to colleges and universities, including those within the Ivy League.

An increasing number of colleges are accepting IB test scores as college credit equivalencies or counting the class towards students college degree programs.

Uniqueness of the Program 

AL will be 1 of only 160 schools in North America and the Caribbean offering BOTH Diploma/Certificate and MYP programs for student in grades 6-12! IB is similar to the Advanced Placement program in that students can earn college credit in both programs. However, AL students will be given the opportunity to take coursework in one of three chosen fields and the entire curriculum will support their chosen academic program. All levels of the IB program focus on interdisciplinary approaches to learning with a strong emphasis on high levels of student engagement in their learning. 

Group One – Studies in Language & Literature
(4 years required)

Advanced English
IB Literature
Creative Writing Workshop
Student Publications & Journalism

Group Two – Language Acquisition
(3 years required)

French:
– Beginning
– Intermediate I and II
– Language and Literature I and II
– IB French SL and HL

Spanish:
– Beginning
– Intermediate I and II
– Language and Literature I and II
– IB Spanish SL and HL

Mandarin:
– Beginning
– Intermediate I and II
– Language and Literature I and II
– IB Mandarin SL and HL

Group Three – Individuals and Society
(3 years required)

Modern World Regions
United States History
United States Government & Politics
IB 20th Century World History
IB Social and Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Sociology and Psychology
Personal Finance
Cultural & Language Immersion Global Exchange Program

Group Four – Sciences
(3 years required)

Integrated Science Studies
Integrated Science Studies Advanced
Earth & Space Science
Biosphere
IB Physics HL
IB Chemistry HL
IB Biology HL
Design Elements
Pre-Programming & Technology
IB Computer Science HL
IB Design Technology HL
Physical Education A and B
Health

Group Five – Mathematics
(3 years required)

Integrated Math Studies
Integrated Math Studies Advanced
College Algebra
IB Mathematics SL
IB Mathematics HL

Group Six – The Arts
(7 electives required, 1 must be from arts, 6 can come from other sections)

Global Art Elements
Digital Media
Mixed Media & Design I and II
IB Visual Arts SL and HL
Music
Instrumental Music Ensemble
Vocal Music Ensemble
Video Production
IB Film SL
Theatre Arts
IB Theatre Arts SL and HL

Co-Curricular and Enrichment Programs

We learned from our parent survey that there is a big interest in extracurricular programs. While we will not be able to satisfy every student’s choice, we plan to have rich and varied extracurricular activities that will grow as the ALHS enrollment increases. 

Advisory and Community Focus

ALIHS is committed to educating the whole person through a weekly advisory and community focus program. This program ensures that students have an adult for academic counsel during their high school career and are provided with opportunities for all-school assemblies, community service and special projects. This time is intended to be a casual learning experience when the school community meets to make connections with the greater Kansas City community. Activities may include outside speakers, performers and field trips.

Community Service

In keeping with a commitment to service and the education of the whole person, ALIHS requires 25 hours per year of community service. In 10th grade, the MYP expect students to complete a personal project. During the student’s first year at ALIHS, staff and visiting speakers will discuss the importance and value of community service and provide information on a variety of community service projects. Students are expected to seek a variety of service programs during their first year and then settle on a community service project for the remainder of their time at ALIHS.

Co-Curricular and Clubs

Organized and run by students, with help and guidance from faculty and parents, clubs give students another way to get to know each other outside of classes. All students are encouraged to participate and pursue new activities and interests. Clubs can foster valuable leadership and organizational skills. Offerings may include drama, dance, foreign languages, Lego robotics, Chess, debate, journalism etc.

College Preparedness & Planning

Students and families will be supported in the college application process by a guidance counselor. ALIHS is committed to seeing its graduates achieve success in their post-secondary educational pursuits.

Athletics

The sports program provides another opportunity to build community and for students to push themselves athletically in various pursuits. ALIHS encourages students to reclaim the ideals of a “student-athlete”. All students have the opportunity to pursue and excel in both academics and athletics. During the first few years ALIHS hopes to field the following teams: Cross country, track & field, soccer, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, soccer.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Académie Lafayette International High School Program (ALIHS)

As other questions come up and are submitted through the Google Form, these FAQ will be updated. 

What will the location of the high school be?

The Armour campus will house the ALIHS high school program. The Armour building can hold up to 900 students. Phase 3 of our expansion plan includes building a gym and auditorium at the Armour Campus at the site of the current basketball courts.

Will there be space for all AL students graduating from 8th grade who are interested in attending the ALIHS?

Yes.

Is there space for Citizens of the World Charter school (CWKC) and the ALIHS to still co-locate? If so, for how long?

Yes. There is enough space to accommodate CWKC and an ALIHS for the next 2 years. Beginning in 2022, CWKC will relocate pursuant to the terms of their lease agreement with AL.

Is there a minimum number of students we need in order to move forward?

We hope to start with a minimum of 30 students, but there will be space for any current 8th grade student to attend.

What is the current total class size of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade that will create the pipeline for the high school’s first 3 academic years?

The current 2019-2020 middle school population at AL is: 95 in 6th grade, 90 in 7th grade, and 85 in 8th grade. There are 270 total AL middle school students.

How large do you expect/plan for each graduating class to be when the school is at full capacity?

All students currently enrolled at Académie Lafayette will automatically qualify to attend the ALIHS. When the school is at full capacity we anticipate a 12th grade graduating class of 120.

Will 8th graders automatically matriculate into the ALHS or is there an application process?

No additional application will be necessary for current 8th grade students, but we will ask parents to indicate their plans to attend so we can plan accordingly and have sufficient time to hire teachers (using a similar intent to return process as is currently used each year).

What will be student requirements from outside of AL to attend?

As required by charter law, when the school is open to the community, students will be accepted by lottery for open spots available.

Will this be a partnership between AL and any other public school?

No, the high school is an extension of our current K-8 program. As such, it is operated under the Académie Lafayette charter sponsored by UCM. Missouri Charter School laws prohibit two charter schools or any other public schools to “merge” or to create partnerships for a high school.

For current 8th grade students that left AL, is there space for them to return to attend the ALIHS if they are interested?

Yes. However, they will have to apply like any other non-AL students and go through a lottery if there are more applications than seats available. Standard admissions rules would apply regarding sibling preference.

What will the model of the high school be?

Académie Lafayette began our middle school International Baccalaureate (IB) program a few years ago, so the ALIHS will build out the full IB program to include an IB certificate or diploma. Please refer to the ALIHS program document below the FAQ.

Will it be an immersion school?

No, the ALIHS will be a college preparatory, International Baccalaureate and global studies high school. The ALIHS will not be immersion but the administration is currently in conversation with UMKC to have the option for students to earn college credit for French by exam after their 8th grade year. We will continue to build out advanced language options for students to continue their language development in French, Spanish and Mandarin.

Will you continue Mandarin and Spanish electives as well?

Yes.

Will the new high school be accredited?

The accreditation process will begin once the school opens and should be fully accredited by year four.

Will there be a full library?

Yes.

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